NFL Thursday Night Picks Week 2
NFL Thursday Night Football
NFL Thursday night football features two of the worst teams from week one competition. The Bengals were shut out by the Baltimore Ravens 20-0, while the Texans didn’t fare much better, blown out 29-7 by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Baltimore and Jacksonville aren’t considered top contenders for anything, which makes these divisional blowouts worse. This game means a bit more to Houston, who still have a realistic shot at winning their division. Cincinnati resides in the tough AFC North, unlikely to finish with a better record than the Pittsburgh Steelers or Ravens.
Cincinnati’s fortunate to start with a pair of home after beginning the season with an unwatchable effort against the Ravens. Houston has to travel after their week one home debacle, increasing the difficulty of improving on only three days rest. Deshaun Watson will make his first start for the Texans, after Tom Savage was benched in the middle of their first game.
Andy Dalton won’t have the worst game of his life in back-to-back weeks. Unless Watson suddenly breaks out, the Bengals should also have the edge at the pivot position. Choose Cincinnati.
Houston Texans at Cincinnati Bengals Preview
Houston was awful on the road last year, squeaking out a pair of wins against the lowly Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars to narrowly secure a postseason ticket in 2016. The Texans had an average margin of four points
The Texans had an average margin of four points on those two wins, displaying their difficulty when away from the comfortable confines of NRG Stadium. This team was so bad on the road that they finished seventh worst in point differential at -3.1, despite making the playoffs. Houston needed luck and good timing to finish ahead of division rivals.
Cincinnati earned four of their six wins in 2016 at home, including solid games against the Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles and Ravens. When the Bengals experienced success last year, it was the defense which stepped up. As a squad, Cincy had the eighth best D in the National Football League, powered by an above-average secondary which cut off easy access to big plays. The striped kittens tied for second in team interceptions.
Considering the lack of experience at the pivot position, the Houston Texans will need to transcend their offensive limitations to make progress in the air. The Bengals will attack rookie QB Watson without mercy, forcing the Texans rush to beat Cincy’s defense. Last year, the Texans earned a total of eight TDs on the rush, so no one should expect Houston to score the football well this week.
The Bengals offensive line was a mess in week one, part of the reason the team was shut out. Houston also has a superb defense, featuring an all-pro pass rush and an excellent secondary. As such, Andy Dalton won’t experience a huge turnaround, but he won’t put up a complete stinker. Cincy will have a bit of an easier time establishing the run against the Texans, who were mediocre at stopping the rush.
Cincinnati will be the favorite to win with a moneyline of -255, which is a safe bet. The spread for the match hovers around 6.5, which reflects the Texans horrible road play. In 2016, Houston’s road losses were all by a touchdown or worse, so bet on the Bengals beating the spread. Considering both teams combined for seven points in week one, the total is appropriately low at 38 points. Neither team will score 20 points this evening, so bet under.
NFL Thursday Night Football Schedule
|Sep. 7||Chiefs||at||Patriots||Patriots (-9.5, -550, Over 48.5)|
|Sep. 14||Texans||at||Bengals||Cincinnati (-6.5, -255, Under 38)|
|Sep. 21||Rams||at||49ers||- -|
|Sep. 28||Bears||at||Packers||- -|
|Oct. 5||Patriots||at||Buccaneers||- -|
|Oct. 12||Eagles||at||Panthers||- -|
|Oct. 19||Chiefs||at||Raiders||- -|
|Oct. 26||Dolphins||at||Ravens||- -|
|Oct. 29||Vikings||at||Browns||- -|
|Nov. 2||Bills||at||Jets||- -|
|Nov. 9||Seahawks||at||Cardinals||- -|
|Nov. 16||Titans||at||Steelers||- -|
|Nov. 30||Redskins||at||Cowboys||- -|
|Dec. 7||Saints||at||Falcons||- -|
|Dec. 14||Broncos||at||Colts||- -|
|Dec. 16||Bears||at||Lions||- -|
|Dec. 16||Chargers||at||Chiefs||- -|
|Dec. 23||Colts||at||Ravens||- -|
|Dec. 25||Steelers||at||Texans||- -|
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